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post #11 of 14 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Smoke and CO2 detectors

Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
You definitely want a marine CO detector, not Home Depot, wired into 12V.

The domestic ones alarm when they reach a threshold, while the marine ones calculate an actual dose over time (time-weighted average). This means that a domestic one is constantly going off, when it gets a whiff of CO from your engine or someone else's. My marine one never triggers accidentally.
Is this the same for all or specific marine models?


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post #12 of 14 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Smoke and CO2 detectors

I seem to recall on my "home depot" CO alarm something about dosage over time triggering it rather than just a set level, but then it wasn't a cheap one. I'd have to go and dig out the instructions, but in any case, I think I'd be happier if it detected any CO as that almost always indicates a problem that has to be fixed.

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post #13 of 14 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Smoke and CO2 detectors

I know that the Fireboy Xintex I have is averaged... this one :

Carbon Monoxide Detectors from Fireboy-Xintex

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post #14 of 14 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Smoke and CO2 detectors

It's a shame you guys don't have access to the Wikipedia, so I'll lend you my copy:

"The gas sensors in CO alarms have a limited and indeterminable life span, typically two to five years. The test button on a CO alarm only tests the battery and circuitry, not the sensor. CO alarms should be tested with an external source of calibrated test gas, as recommended by the latest version of NFPA 720. Alarms over five years old should be replaced but they should be checked on installation and at least annually during the manufacturers warranty period."

The alarm points on carbon monoxide detectors are not a simple alarm level (as in smoke detectors) but are a concentration-time function. At lower concentrations (e.g. 100 parts per million) the detector will not sound an alarm for many tens of minutes. At 400 parts per million (PPM), the alarm will sound within a few minutes. This concentration-time function is intended to mimic the uptake of carbon monoxide in the body while also preventing false alarms due to relatively common sources of carbon monoxide such as cigarette smoke."

There are UL and other standards, perhaps there is a USCG or ABYC standard that makes "marine" detectors different in terms of what set points they'll use.

But just TRY to find a spray can of CO, or one of smoke, to test your detectors with. Won't be at the local bigbox store, for sure.
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